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An extraordinary day for Virginia Tech


Photograph from above of Virginia Tech's campus A view of campus from the construction crane at the Center for the Arts building site.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 10, 2011 – Saturday night’s announcement of the results of The Campaign for Virginia Tech: Invent the Future will close out an extraordinary day for an institution that will have held its first university-wide open house in memory just hours earlier.

The announcement – which will come at a campaign closing event attended by nearly 1,000 invitees in a temporary structure adjacent to the Holtzman Alumni Center – is also a culmination of an eight-year effort that has engaged tens of thousands of supporters, who combined have made hundreds of thousands of contributions during the campaign, which had a goal of $1 billion and ran from July 1, 2003, through June 30, 2011.

“It’s impossible to overstate the difference that private giving makes for an institution such as ours,” Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger said. “I am certain that everyone who visits the many events we have scheduled for our University Open House will be impressed by the presentations that our faculty and students will be giving. Visitors who have not been to campus in a while will be amazed at the new facilities we have added in recent years. It may not be obvious, but private donations helped to make possible many of the programs and projects that will be on display Saturday, so it seemed entirely appropriate to celebrate both our accomplishments as a university, and the campaign that helped fuel many of those accomplishments, on the same day.”

While much of the campaign’s impact might not be evident to visitors – such as the hundreds of new scholarships and dozens of new professorships or fellowships that were endowed – other examples of privately supported developments will be impossible to miss.

The west-side expansion of Lane Stadium is one example, as is the new Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center, which is expected to be the first stop of many who come to the University Open House. The construction sites for two other donor-supported projects are also hard to miss. The Center for the Arts has a giant crane on its building site near the corner of Alumni Mall and North Main Street, while the Signature Engineering Building is being built a short distance away, near the corner of Prices Fork Road and Stanger Street.

Fundraising for both the Center for the Arts and the Signature Engineering Building is ongoing, but during the campaign donors gave millions in support of both projects, helping make it possible to begin construction.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Nov. 12 Open House

    The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets formed in front of the War Memorial Chapel in the fall of 2010

Please join us Nov. 12 for a behind-the-scenes look at how Virginia Tech is inventing the future as more than 60 areas across campus open their doors to the community. The university's Open House runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., starting with a regimental formal review of the Corps of Cadets. At numerous locations across campus, visitors can tour world-class facilities, learn about cutting-edge research, and interact with faculty and students.

'An important part of my life'

    Photograph of Virginia Tech alumnus Gene Fife

The Anne and Ellen Fife Performance Theatre, part of the Center for the Arts under construction at Virginia Tech is named for the wife and late mother, respectively, of Gene Fife. Fife, who earned his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1962, said the naming was inspired by the love of music held by his wife, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music; and mother, a graduate of what is now the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. "Music in its various forms has been an important part of my life," said Fife, a former captain of the Highty-Tighties, who along with his wife has generously supported many Virginia Tech programs. “In both Anne’s and my view, the Center for the Arts is much more than bricks and mortar. It is really about inspiring students to broaden their horizons and gain exposure to the world of art and history that goes well beyond their academic discipline.”

Virginia Tech announces record gifts

    An architect's rendition of the exterior of Virginia Tech's Signature Engineering Building.

Virginia Tech announced three donations, totaling more than $45 million, to the College of Engineering, which will use much of the money for a new building.

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